Jun 8, 2017

Zika causes birth defects regardless of trimester

A new CDC study found 5% of infants or fetuses born to women in the U.S. with laboratory-confirmed Zika infections had microcephaly or another Zika-linked birth defect.

"The bottom line is that Zika infection, identified during any trimester of pregnancy, can lead to serious brain and other birth defects," said Peggy Honein, an author on the study.

What they found: Infants developed microcephaly and other birth defects regardless of whether or not the mother displayed symptoms. The data also showed that babies infected in all trimesters exhibited birth defects, but the earlier the infection occurred, the more likely they were. Rates ranged from 8% for infants infected in the first trimester to 4% in the third.

Unanswered questions: There are reported cases of Zika-infected mothers having babies that appear normal at birth, but develop microcephaly and neurological difficulties as they age. Because this study looked at newborns, these cases are not included.

Go deeper: Much of the research linking Zika to microcephaly has been done in South America. This study confirms that those cases were due to the Zika virus, and not due to an interaction of the virus with something genetic or environmental in the area. The size (2549 people) and rigor of the study was also important, as past research on Zika-related birth defects has ranged in quality and given prevalence rates ranging from 1-13%. This was one of the first studies to break down infections by trimester and whether or not the mother was asymptomatic.

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Trump signs $2 trillion relief bill as U.S. coronavirus case count tops 100,000

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

President Trump signed a $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief package on Friday, as infections in the U.S. topped 100,000 and more cities experience spikes of the novel coronavirus.

The big picture: The U.S. has the most COVID-19 cases in the world, exceeding China and Italy, per data from Johns Hopkins. A second wave of American cities, including Boston, Detroit, New Orleans and Philadelphia, are reporting influxes of cases.

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Coronavirus updates: Italy records deadliest day with nearly 1,000 dead

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

Italy on Friday reported 969 COVID-19 deaths over a 24-hour period, marking the deadliest single-day for the country since the global outbreak began, according to data from the Health Ministry.

The big picture: The U.S. now leads the world in confirmed coronavirus cases, as the number of global cases nears 600,000. Governments around the world are trying to curb the medical and financial fallout of COVID-19, as infections surge across Europe and the U.S.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 595,800 — Total deaths: 27,324 — Total recoveries: 131,006.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in cases. Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 103,942 — Total deaths: 1,689 — Total recoveries: 870.
  3. Federal government latest: President Trump signed the $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill to provide businesses and U.S. workers economic relief.
  4. State updates: Nearly 92% of cities do not have adequate medical supplies — New York is trying to nearly triple its hospital capacity in less than a month.
  5. World updates: Italy reported 969 coronavirus deaths on Friday, the country's deadliest day.
  6. Business latest: President Trump authorized the use of the Defense Production Act to direct General Motors to build ventilators for those affected by COVID-19. White House trade adviser Peter Navarro has been appointed to enforce the act.
  7. 🏰 1 Disney thing: Both Disney World and Disneyland theme parks in the U.S. are closed until further notice.
  8. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancing.
  9. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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